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An Archaeologist's Guide to Organic Residues in Pottery
by Eleanora A. Reber
University of Alabama Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-8173-2122-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9398-4
Library of Congress Classification CC79.C5R43 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 930.1028

A guide for mastering the technical specialty of organic residue analysis of pottery
Pottery analysis is a crucial component of excavating an archaeological site. Organic residues in pottery are made up of chemicals that absorb into pots over their lifetime. These residues can reveal what people ate, whether different types of vessels were used for different cooking or foodstuffs preparation, and whether “elite” vessels were in use.

Organic residue analysis is a technical specialty that blends an unusual type of instrumental organic chemistry and archaeology. Because it is considered an obscure technique, archaeologists of all degrees of experience tend to struggle with how to apply the technology to archaeological questions and how to sample effectively in the field to answer these questions.

Eleanora A. Reber’s An Archaeologist’s Guide to Organic Residues in Pottery is a user-friendly resource for all archaeologists. Composed of case studies gleaned from Reber’s more than twenty years of archaeological research, this guide covers the range of residues encountered in the field and explains the methods and application of organic residue analysis.

Reber illustrates the useful aspects of residue analysis, such as compound-specific isotope analysis for the identification of traces of maize and marine resources, conifer resins, and the psychoactive alkaloid biomarkers caffeine and nicotine. Special attention is paid to sampling and construction of meaning as well as research questions to help field archaeologists integrate residue analysis seamlessly into their projects

See other books on: Analysis | Excavations (Archaeology) | Methodology | Pottery | Pottery, Ancient
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